‘Predatory conduct’ nets four-year sentence

A significant jail sentence has been handed to a Vernon man

A significant jail sentence has been handed to a Vernon man in connection with attempting to communicate and lure children under the age 16 via computer.

Justice Peter Voith sentenced David Clayton Willerth, 40, to four years in Vernon Supreme Court Friday morning after Willerth pleaded guilty Tuesday to 17 counts of communicating via computer to lure a child under the age of 16.

Willerth, who was arrested in May 2013, was also sentenced to a further nine months in prison, to be served consecutively, for pleading guilty to one count of possession of child pornography.

A total of 168 days will be taken off the sentence for time already served in custody by Willerth.

“Mr. Willerth’s conduct was predatory,” said Voith in pronouncing the sentence. “He was insistent and aggressive even after it was made clear to him by some of the victims that they didn’t want any further communication.”

There were a total of 16 victims in the case, all between the ages of 12 and 15.

Crown counsel had sought a sentence of six-to-seven years while defence was seeking a three-year term.

Willerth will be sent to a federal penitentiary to have access to counselling programs.

Willerth posed as a model agent under a fake name on a social network site in May 2013. He offered young girls contracts and money and asked that they send him nude photographs.

After police were informed of social network conversations by parents of one of the victims, the investigation led to an IP computer address at Willerth’s Vernon home.

Willerth, who sat with his head bowed through a majority of the 50-minute sentence proceeding, did attempt to meet some of the girls he was communicating with but never met any of them.

He also deleted from his computer nude photographs he received from one girl.

Voith took into account a prior criminal record for Willerth which included impersonation and criminal harassment, and the fact he pleaded guilty to 18 counts, sparing the victims from testifying and reliving their ordeal in a trial.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Museum digs up history for ’60s Vernon Winter Carnival

Get Groovin’ with the Grandkids or flashback to the ’60s with tunes, trivia and costumes

City of Enderby apologizes for cemetery damages

‘Very disrespectful’: Headstones at Enderby cemetery damaged by excavation crew

Two-month-old Kelowna boy diagnosed with rare heart disorder returns home from treatment

Arel spent two weeks at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver after suffering multiple cardiac arrests

Stop 5G in Vernon, environment group says

A moratorium was requested by local environment group

Vernon Community Champion: respect works here

‘It takes a special place to be home to a global culture…’

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Shuswap man given six months jail time for possession of child pornography

Forty-six-year-old will be on National Sex Offender Registry for 20 years

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Power outage at Big White

It’s unknown why the power went out Tuesday afternoon

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Most Read